Brian Fowler

Brian Fowler is a storyteller—and not only with a camera. He shuts off his cell phone, which has a ring tone of James Brown’s line “I feel good,” and begins to answer a question about where he grew up with a description of his great-great-grandfather’s 1868 homestead claim. During the interview, he throws out a jaw-dropping line about getting a call from the White House to shoot photos of then-President George W. Bush. Fowler veers right past that explanation to talk about employees, friends—such as Free Press photographer John Cross—and wife Karen and three daughters, who work with him.

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Inspire Bridal Boutique

Within the last year, Julie Larson began Inspire Bridal Boutique at 204 South Minnesota after finding the perfect building on high-traffic US 169, falling in love with St. Peter’s artsy atmosphere, and getting help from Russ Wille of the local EDA, she said. In addition, St. Peter needed a bridal shop and Larson could get her sewing needs done across the street at newly opened Sew Boutique.

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Paul Wilke

General Growth Properties began building River Hills Mall more than 20 years ago. Today, the retail behemoth annually receives 8.5 million visitors, who often want more and so spill over into Greater Mankato’s many retail nooks and crannies. About 75 percent of Mall visits each year come from people that live more than 30 miles away, and that includes 850,000 visits from consumer-hungry northern Iowans seeking tax-free clothing.

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